(J. R. Miller, “The Sacredness of Opportunity“)
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16
“Gather up the fragments that are left over. Let nothing be wasted!” John 6:12
“Time is short!” 1 Corinthians 7:29
Time is made up of golden minutes–not one of which we should allow to be wasted! The Master said that for every idle word that men speak–they must give account. This can be no less true of idle minutes or hours.
Most of us live as if we had a thousand years to stay here in this world! We loiter away the golden hours of our little days–as if the days were never to end! We do not see how swiftly the sun is whirling toward his setting, while our work is but half done, our task perhaps scarcely begun!
We fritter away days, weeks, months–not noticing how our one little opportunity of living in this world is being worn off, as the sea eats away a crumbling bank until its last shred is gone! We set slight value on time, forgetting that we have only a hand-breadth of it–and then comes eternity!
(J.R. Miller, “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)
Love never gets its debts paid off. “Do not owe anyone anything, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8
Paul implies that we never can pay off all love’s debts, or even if we do get them paid off at the close of some happy day–we shall find them waiting at our door in the morning, as clamorous as ever. Of course, LOVE is the law of Christian life. We cannot be Christlike–unless we love. But oh! is not love tremendously costly sometimes?
(J.R. Miller, “Things That Endure”)
“Avoid every kind of evil!” 1 Thessalonians 5:22
Much is said in commendation of books. But, as in other matters, there is need for wise discrimination in what one reads. Not all books are worth reading.
There are many which are utterly empty of anything that is noble or worthy. One might read them continually all one’s life–and yet be no wiser and no better. A hundred of them do not contain a dozen sentences that it is worthwhile to keep in one’s memory, or that can be of any help or cheer or strength in one’s life.
(J.R. Miller, “Things That Endure”)
A man had an eagle which had grown up among the barnyard hens. For a time the bird seemed content to be only a chicken. But one day it looked up into the sky, and something within the eagle, sleeping until now, awoke. Flapping its wings, it soared away toward the sun and never returned.
Just so, too many Christians, meant for the eagle-life–content themselves with a barnyard existence. Now and then they feel something stirring within them–but they are too indolent to make the effort necessary to take their place in the upper air and among the mountain crags. So they spend all their days down in the dust, among earthly things, never waking up to their God-given potentials.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ–set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above–not on earthly things!” Colossians 3:1-2
Photo: Bald eagle in flight raptor bird by Hillebrand Steve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(J.R. Miller – “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul tells of a wonderful experience which he had. He had some great suffering which he called “a thorn in the flesh.” He does not say what it was–but evidently it was some physical pain, some think epilepsy, some think a trouble with the eyes, some think a nervous affliction. No matter what it was–it was very painful and seemed to interfere with the apostle’s usefulness.
(J.R. Miller, “Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” 1890)
“When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to Him: They have no more wine.” John 2:3
This incident is a very fitting illustration of the failure of all this world’s joys. The wine ran out at a wedding-feast. There was not enough of it to last through to the end of the feast.
It is just so with all earth’s pleasures. It comes in cups–not in fountains; and the supply is limited–and soon exhausted.
It is especially so with sin’s pleasures. The prodigal son soon ran out of money, and began to be in need. A poet compared the pleasures of sin to a snowflake on the river, “a moment white–then gone forever!”
But it is true in a sense also–of pure earthly pleasures. Even the sweetness of human love is but a cupful, which will not last forever. The joy which so fills us today–tomorrow is changed to sorrow. Amid the gladness of the marriage altar–there is the knell of the end, in the words “until death do us part.” One of every two friends must hold the other’s hand in farewell at the edge of the valley of the shadow of death–and must stand by the other’s grave, and walk alone for part of the way. The best wine of earthly life and of love–will fail. If there were nothing better in this world–how sad it would be!
(J. R. Miller, “The Friendships of Jesus” 1897)
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends–if you do what I command. . . . I have called you friends.” John 15:13-15
The central fact in every true Christian life, is a personal friendship with Jesus. Men were called to follow Him, to leave all and cleave to Him, to believe on Him, to trust Him, to love Him, to obey Him; and the result was the transformation of their lives into His own beauty! That which alone makes one a Christian, is being a friend of Jesus. Continue reading